Tag Archives: Words

Yell At Me, OK?

I love words. I love the sound of certain words. I love the way words string together and mean so many different things. My husband calls me The Queen of Syntax. He complains that I get lost in semantics.

So, sue me. It’s my character flaw.

And I own it.

The other day my husband took a quick break from doing yard work and said to me, “I have Tai Chi class at 7pm. I’m not finished in the yard.  Could you yell at me at 6?”

Ummmmm. Sure.

At the appointed hour I stood on our back porch.

“Hey!” I yelled, “I’ve asked you a hundred times to put the suitcases in the basement! And your tools have been sitting on top of the dryer for a month! Put them away NOW, you slob!”

He doubled over in laughter.

Oh no. What will the neighbors think?

(Sorry for the re-run. My sister is still visiting and she doesn’t even know I blog. And I’m not telling her now. So, I’m going to be a bit scarce. I’ll try to sneak online but in the meantime, here are a few of my favorite posts. Enjoy your week!)

5 Comments

Filed under funny, Uncategorized, Words

Yell At Me, OK?

(To celebrate her high school graduation, my daughter and I are on a little hiatus together. A mother/daughter hiatus. I will be posting some of my favorite posts in the interim. Enjoy!)

I love words. I love the sound of certain words. I love the way words string together and mean so many different things. My husband calls me The Queen of Syntax. He complains that I get lost in semantics.

So, sue me. It’s my character flaw.

And I own it.

The other day my husband took a quick break from doing yard work and said to me, “I have Tai Chi class at 7pm. I’m not finished in the yard.  Could you yell at me at 6?”

Ummmmm. Sure.

At the appointed hour I stood on our back porch.

“Hey!” I yelled, “I’ve asked you a hundred times to put the suitcases in the basement! And your tools have been sitting on top of the dryer for a month! Put them away NOW, you slob!”

He doubled over in laughter.

(Oh no. What will the neighbors think?)

7 Comments

Filed under funny

Different Words For Different Nerds

I love words. Their sounds. Their many meanings. Their contradictions and misuse.

I enjoy learning new words. (Hence, my addiction to A-Word-A-Day) 

I certainly wouldn’t call myself a linguaphile. It’s merely a hobby.

Sometimes, I can be very literal. “Say what you mean. Mean what you say.” – a phrase I use all too often with my husband; I’m sure he’d agree. Other times, I look for hidden meanings and agendas. Sometimes I create something that isn’t there and let my imagination take flight.

The wonderful thing about words is that everyone has a favorite and for very different reasons. Different words for different nerds. That’s my motto.

Here are a few of this nerd’s favorites:

1. Marshmallow – Doesn’t it sound all soft and fluffy? I don’t even like marshmallows but I love the word. A little evidence of how tolerant I am.

2. Lethologica – The inability to remember the right word. Such a useful word. One I employ more often than I’d care to admit.

3. Onomatopoeia – I love the word and I tend to love the words it represents. Buzz, zip, click and clack. Perfect? No?

4. Hobgoblin – Sounds exactly like an impish, mischievous soul. Right? And it’s used in one of my favorite Emerson quotes: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

5. Elixir – Don’t know why I love this word. But when I describe my beloved Coca-Cola, I’ll often declare that it is “the elixir of the gods!” So, elixir stays on my list.

6. Plethora – I use this word quite a bit. So much so, that when my then 3-year-old told his grandmother that he had a plethora of toys to play with; She agreed.

7. Rumpus – “Let the wild rumpus begin!” – From what favorite children’s book? You tell me!

8. Brouhaha – A cousin to rumpus but a fun, appropriate sounding word, all the same.

9. Haricot Verts – Not an English word, but a wonderful phrase. My favorite in the French language. I just love the way it trips off my tongue, sounding so delicious and sweet, romantic and beautiful. Who knew a simple pile of green beans could sound so wonderful?

10. Skedaddle – Some say, “Hurry up!” Others say, “Chop chop!” or “Shake a leg!” Me? I’m always telling my kids, “Scoot, scoot, skedaddle!” Much more fun to say, don’t you think?

Any true  linguaphiles out there? Or hobbyists like me? Share a favorite word of yours in the comments below. I need to add to my treasure trove.

20 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious

Yell At Me, OK?

I love words. I love the sound of certain words. I love the way words string together and mean so many different things. My husband calls me The Queen of Syntax. He complains that I get lost in semantics.

So, sue me. It’s my character flaw.

And I own it.

The other day my husband took a quick break from doing yard work and said to me, “I have Tai Chi class at 7pm. I’m not finished in the yard.  Could you yell at me at 6?”

Ummmmm. Sure.

At the appointed hour I stood on our back porch.

“Hey!” I yelled, “I’ve asked you a hundred times to put the suitcases in the basement! And your tools have been sitting on top of the dryer for a month! Put them away NOW, you slob!”

He doubled over in laughter.

(Oh no. What will the neighbors think?)

33 Comments

Filed under funny, Words

Flummoxed Doesn’t Even Begin To Describe – And Neither Does Eliminate, Apparently

A dear friend of mine was inspired to call in to a nationally syndicated talk radio show. The topic of the program that day hit a nerve and she had something to share. She waited on hold while entertaining her toddler in the background. She finally got through. Live. On the air. She said her piece and used the word, “flummoxed.” She was flummoxed. A beautiful synonym for the words confused and perplexed. But the radio personality interrupted her, as he’s known to do, and accused her of not knowing what the word meant.

Now, I will admit, I do not use the word “flummoxed” every day. Or very often, for that matter. So I wouldn’t fault you for not being familiar. But he accused her, on the national airwaves, and asked her to define the word even though she had just used it correctly in a sentence.

(snicker, snicker – I’ll bet he didn’t know what it meant!)

So she defined it. Correctly. And of course she did. She’s a well-educated-former-attorney-turned-stay-at-home-mom-and-it’s-driving-her-crazy-because-she-loved-her-work-but-she’s-doing-it-anyway-because-she-feels-that’s-what’s-best-for-her-kids and that’s what I love about her. And he treated her, for all the world to hear, like just another “dumb housewife.”

Creep.

While proofing a post I created recently (ok, proofing is not really the correct term – more like pressing the spell check button) I came across a blue line underneath the word “eliminate.” I slowly checked my spelling. E-l-i-m-i-n-a-t-e. Nope. It’s spelled right. I re-read the sentence. “I will never be able to eliminate them from my life.” Nope. Used correctly. Hmmmmm. Please explain, I asked the spell/grammar check program.

This is what it said:

Try a simpler word for eliminate

Where possible you should use a simple word over a complex word. Simple words are easier to read and let your readers focus on your ideas.

Replace eliminate with

  • cut
  • drop
  • end

Are you kidding me? Eliminate is a complex word? Not where I come from. I’m talking to other moms out there (and a few enlightened dads – thanks guys!). Moms (and cool dads) who are well versed in the world of elimination, if you get my drift.

I remember reading a while back that the average newspaper article should reflect a 5th grade reading level. A 5th grader should be able to read an article, understand all of the words and the point being made. I remember having the words “analyze” and “system” on a 2nd grade spelling test and thinking I was a big shot. Surely a 5th grader understands the meaning of the word “eliminate.”

So, WordPress thinks that the word “eliminate” is too difficult for my blog readers to understand? Apparently my writing has too many run-on and incomplete sentences, too. No surprise there – and I was just beginning to embrace that quirky nuance of my style. I also use passive voice on occasion. How else would you say “she was flummoxed” or “should be able to?”

Creeps.

I think I will just have to eliminate the WordPress spell check feature from my pre-posting routine. You are all just going to have to put up with my mis-spellings, run-ons, incomplete sentences and passive writing. I’m hard enough on myself. I don’t need WordPress rubbing it in.

And because, well, frankly?

I’m flummoxed.

24 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned

Son Drops the “S” Word! Queen Mother of Dirty Words! (To a 6 yr. old, that is)

“MOMMY! #2son said the S word!” shouted my #1son from upstairs.

My heart skipped a beat. I racked my brain, trying to remember when I might have slipped. Was it when I spilled coffee all over my blouse getting into the car yesterday morning? Or when I rolled through that stop sign and THEN saw the police car in my rear view mirror?

“MOMMY! #2son said the S word! He needs to go in time out!” #1 son is now standing in front of me, demanding  justice.

“What exactly did he say?” I said, sternly. “And remember. You’re tattling – so it better be worth it.”

I held my breath, waiting for his reply.

“He said ‘Shut up’ and you’re not supposed to say ‘shut up,’ ” #1son said, triumphantly.

I breathed a sigh of relief and said, “You’re right. That’s not nice and we don’t say shut up. Just ignore him.”

I led #1son back upstairs to play so I could finish dinner.

“Mom, there are two S words, right?”

Oh no. Heart pounding, I scowled. That darn husband of mine. Letting loose like a sailor in front of the boys. Leaving me to deal with potty mouth. Next I’ll be getting phone calls from parents. I could just see it, unwrapping the bar of soap, placing it between his teeth – my husband, not the boys.

“Riiiiggghhhtt,” I said very slowly.

“Yep. There’s shut up and stupid. And I don’t say those words. Those are bad words!” #1son says, proudly.

My heart starts beating again at a comfortable pace. I’m able to exhale with ease.

How I dodged the bullet this time, I honestly don’t know.

Thank goodness it wasn’t the F word. (Freak, people. Geez!)

13 Comments

Filed under children, funny

Help! I’ve Been Splogged!

I kid you not. Splog is a legit blog term. It’s a spam blog. And it. Could happen. To you! Bwaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa….

Seriously. I’m not sure how I found it but one of my snazzy posts that I created for Country-Fried Mama’s new meme (Mmm, Mmm, Memory) was snatched up by a stealthy splogger (try saying that fast five times). This splogger copied it and pasted it and posted it on her site. Granted she gave me credit by adding my site address to the end. But it was a bit unnerving to see it posted there. And there were many others, too. Maybe yours.

I’m perplexed. Flummoxed, even. (I just had to throw that word in there. A friend of mine used it in a sentence and a fairly famous radio host accused her of not knowing what it meant. I think *he* didn’t know what it meant.) So, I’m flummoxed. Stealing other material seems like such a nasty thing to do. Didn’t you have a rule-following English teacher in high school (me) that beat the definition of plagiarism into you (see previous post here)? I suppose by definition you haven’t plagiarised if you gave me credit at the end. But it still feels creepy. And it can’t be right.

How common is this? Has it happened to you? Now I’m going to be looking over my shoulder every time I press the Publish button.

How I hate it when my rose-colored glasses get a smudge on them.

Sigh.

17 Comments

Filed under Plagiarism, Roadblocks, Soapbox

Bloggers of the Blog People

Did you know that the word blog is only 10 years old. Ok, for you twenty somethings out there that might seem old to you. After all, it’s half your age. But to us old farts? That’s young. And I feel like the word has been around forever. But according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog), the word blog was coined in 1999. It’s a tongue in cheek reference to the word weblog. Then it became acceptable to refer to blog as both noun and verb. Then came the word blogger. 

Frankly, I’m not enjoying the progression.

Weblog is ok. Direct. Succinct. Very business like.

Blog? While Michael Gorman of the Library Journal (http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA502009.html) likens the sound of the word blog to “something you would find stuck in your drain,” it is definitely tongue in cheek. Kinda cute even. I can live with it.

But blogger? I’m a blogger? Sounds too much like booger, blubber, Frogger. Dried nasal mucus? my expanding middle? An 80’s arcade game? No thanks.

Michael Gorman even takes the term one step further. He calls bloggers, “The Blog People.” The Blog People?!?  Sounds like some B-grade, cult movie classic. Complete with quotable dialogue, “Oh no! It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!”

There has got to be a better word. But it has to be catchy, current, hip. Something that creates the vision of a cute, petite, girl-next-door sitting at her laptop in her adorable cotton pj’s, but sexy all at the same time. Coffee cup (or sweet tea with 2 lemon slices) within arms reach. Her golden retriever, Max, sitting at her feet and her tabby, Scooter, purring softly next to her.

Seriously. Blogger of the Blog People. There has got to be a better word.

Suggestions?……… Anyone? Anyone?

12 Comments

Filed under Words